Diwali, also called as deepawali, deepavali, or devali, is a Hindu festival celebrated with complete cheer and enthusiasm. This festival is widely referred as the “Festival of Lights”, which usually falls during the months of October and November. For Hindus, Diwali festival is one of the most significant and important holidays wherein families and relatives celebrate it by observing different traditions and customs.
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Diwali Festival – The Festival of Light
Diwali, from the word Deepavali, literally means row or ray of lamps. The celebration of diwali festival incorporates lighting small oil lamps known as “Diya”. This custom signifies the triumph of light over darkness. Before the Diwali, people are cleaning their home and decorate it with special Diwali torans and garlands. Then, they light their Diyas, which will be kept lighted overnight. This is done to welcome the Goddess of Beauty and Wealth – Goddess Lakshmi.
Diwali Activities and Customs
During the Diwali festival, devotees are bursting firecrackers to drive away the evil spirits. They also wear new clothing and prepare Diwali sweets to share to their friends and family. Some devotees also share and exchange diwali gifts and diwali cards as part of the celebration. Homes also assemble and perform Lakshmi puja during the Diwali.
Why Celebrate Diwali Festival?
Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the return of the Lord Rama, together with his wife Site and Lakshmana after he defeated Ravana – the king of Demon. To celebrate the return of king, people from Ayodha illuminated the entire kingdom with oil lamp made of clay and burst firecrackers.
Five-Day Celebration of Diwali
Diwali is a five-day long festival wherein the first day, which marks the beginning of Diwali, is known as Dhanteras. Choti diwali, the second day, marks the day when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasur and freed his people from fear. The 3rd and the main day of Diwali, Lakshmi Puja or Badi Diwali, is meant for commemorating Goddess Lakshmi. Devotees usually prepare their home and decorate it with beautiful torans and embellishments. The fourth day – Govardhan Puja – is for the commemoration of Lord Govardhan. The 5th and last day of Diwali is called Bhai Dooj that is celebrated in honor of sisters and brothers’ bond as sibling.